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Disparities in Vaccination Rates Leaves Communities at Risk

This week, millions of residents across New South Wales emerged from more than 100 days of lockdown after the Australian state met its target of full vaccination for 70 percent of its population over age 16. Across Sydney, people queued for haircuts…
People wait outside a Covid-19 vaccination clinic in the Bankstown suburb during a lockdown in Sydney, Australia, August 25, 2021.
News

Summit Meeting Key Opportunity to Address Vaccine Inequities

Leaders from the “Quad” countries – the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – will hold their first in-person summit in Washington, DC, on September 24, amid a global Covid-19 vaccine shortage crisis and deeply inequitable access to vaccines.…
Activists stand outside Pfizer Headquarters demanding US President Joe Biden support the "TRIPS Waiver" in New York, NY on April 22, 2021.
News

New South Wales Should Urgently Address Spread of Covid-19 in Prisons

(Sydney) – The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) should urgently ensure that prisoners have access to Covid-19 vaccines, Human Rights Watch said today. The Covid-19 Delta strain has spread inside NSW prisons. State authorities told…
The entry sign to Parklea Correctional Centre in Sydney.
News

Ensure Vaccine Access for First Nations People; Increase Prisoner Protections

(Sydney) – The Australian government should urgently act to prevent an outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta strain from having devastating outcomes for vulnerable First Nations and prisoner populations, Human Rights Watch said today. Although the federal…
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News

Waive TRIPS Amid Delta Outbreak, Vaccine Shortages

Right now, half of Australia’s population – more than 13 million people – are living under a hard lockdown after a growing outbreak of the Delta coronavirus strain that began in Sydney in June. The strict stay at home measures come amid a shortage in…
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, watches a pharmacist prepare a simulated vaccine at the Sydney local health district vaccination hub in Sydney, February 19, 2021.
News

Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
News

Government Should Bolster Healthcare System; International Donors Need to Step Up

  Update: On March 17, 2021 the Australian government announced it will provide 8,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to PNG. Papua New Guinea is facing a surge in Covid-19 cases, with more confirmed cases in the first two weeks of March…
The flag of Papua New Guinea
News

State government should prioritize compassionate cases, family reunification

(Perth) – Strict restrictions imposed by the Western Australian government since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic on people entering the state are causing undue hardship for families, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should make more…
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News

Victoria’s Parliament Shouldn’t Broaden Police Powers

(Sydney) – Victoria’s police have used harsh measures during the Australian state’s Covid-19 lockdown that threaten basic rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Victoria’s parliament should reject a new attempt to broaden police powers. Victorian…
Police Public Order Response Teams respond to a small group of protesters who appeared at a shopping center and quickly dispersed before any arrests could be made during pop-up protests on September 20, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. 
News

Report Documents ‘Significant Disadvantage’ to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this piece contains the name and image of a deceased person. His name and image are used with the permission of the family.  On August 24, the Queensland Health Ombudsman found that…
Charlie Gowa (left), his mother Xernona PoiPoi, and brother Richard.
News

Failing Aged Care Facilities Risk Lives of Residents and Staff

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on people living in nursing facilities around the world, including in Australia. On August 10, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will hold a hearing on “lessons learnt” on Covid-…
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Disproportionate Response Denies Vulnerable Immigrants a Lifeline

(Sydney) – The Australian parliament should reject proposed measures that would authorize confiscation of immigration detainees’ mobile phones and expand detention staff’s search and seizure authority, Human Rights Watch said today in a submission to…
Asylum seekers and refugees hold placards during protest against their detention at Kangaroo Point Hotel in Brisbane, Australia, amid the Covid-19 crisis.
News

Persistently Press Abusive Leaders to End Violations

Authoritarian-leaning countries in southeast Asia are using the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to further repress human rights, which the Australian government cannot afford to ignore. In Cambodia, a new state of emergency law will further…
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen gestures during a speech on the current state of a new virus from China in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.
News

Prisoners with Disabilities Face Particular Hardship

Locked in cramped cells with others, being an easy target for violence, and getting bullied for your food and medication – that’s daily life for a prisoner with a disability in Australia. And the Covid-19 pandemic is only making things worse.…
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News

Shortage of Health Care Workers and Medical Equipment

Even before the coronavirus, the fragile health system in Papua New Guinea (PNG) was underfunded and overwhelmed, with high rates of malaria, tuberculosis, and diabetes among its population of more than eight million. Access to hospitals is…
The flag of Papua New Guinea
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Every day for more than two years, Mae has brought breakfast and dinner to her husband, Dean, 75, (not their real names) in his aged care facility in their town in Northern Queensland. Dean has dementia and Mae sits with him for hours, encouraging…
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Release People to Mitigate Threat of COVID-19 Spread

In Australia, as people grumble about closed beaches and extended isolation at home due to the coronavirus, spare a thought for those in immigration detention. In recent weeks, I’ve received anxious messages from a 32-year-old Sri Lankan…
Refugees protest detention conditions in a Melbourne hotel, Australia, April, 2020.
News
As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
News

End Coercive Aged Care Practices; Ensure Supportive Intervention

(Sydney) – Australia’s parliament should scrap a new rule that allows nursing homes to overmedicate and restrain older people, a group of organizations working for older people’s rights in Australia said today. On August 20, 2019 in Sydney, the…
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